Tom Duncan

  • Music

It is not often you get to spend time with people who are masters at their craft. Because of the Creative Renewal Fellowship, I was able to engage them and I have inspiration now to try to these older techniques myself.

Tom traveled to Europe, visiting Switzerland, France, and the United Kingdom in order to connect with builders of historical musical instruments. He worked with Beat Wolf in Zurich, Switzerland who builds replicas of 19th century single action harps. He worked with two luthiers in Norwich, England: David Van Edwards and Malcolm Prior, both master craftsmen making lutes "using many of the methods and drawings of the original makers." He also visited the Camas Harps showroom in Paris. "There I got to see and play a wide variety of harps from small lever harps to richly decorated harps."

His time, however, was not all devoted to making lutes and harps. He visited museums such as The Rodin Museum, The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay; hiked mountains; and took in a variety of bookstores, pubs, and theatre productions traveling by train from destination to destination. After his experience, he was energized and eager to come home, redesign his shop and begin building new instruments, including his own lute.


Formal music training: piano, cornet, French horn, bass, tuba, drums, guitar, harp, accordion

Instrument builder

Employee, Festival Music Society


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